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The Use of Refused Tea as Litter Material for Broiler Chickens

by 5m Editor
4 June 2007, at 12:00am

By N. S. B. M. Atapattu (Corresponding author) and K. P. Wickramasinghe , Department of Animal Science, University of Ruhuna. Published in Poultry Science, Volume 86, Issue 5, May 2007 edition.

A completely randomized design experiment was conducted to determine the suitability of refused tea (RT) as a litter material for broiler chickens.

Physiochemical properties of RT were compared with paddy husk (PH). Subsequently, broilers were raised on RT- or PH-based litter to compare the performances and litter qualities.

Twenty-day-old broiler chicks (n = 150) were randomly allocated into 6 deep litter pens so that each treatment had 3 replicates. Chicks received 0.8 ft2 of floor spacing until d 28 and 1.3 ft2 thereafter.

Each cage had a feeder and a drinker. Litter materials and litter samples taken on 28, 35, and 39 d were analyzed for bulk density, moisture, ash, and N. Chick mortality was low (1.3%) and similar on 2 types of litters.

Live weights on d 28, 35, 39, and weight gains, feed intakes, dressing percentages, and feed conversion ratios were not affected by the type of litter material. The bulk density, moisture level, and pH of the RT were comparable with PH.

Even though the water-holding capacity of PH (213%) was significantly higher (P < 0.01) than RT (70%), the latter material had significantly higher (P < 0.01) water-releasing capacity compared with the former (17.9 vs. 13.6%).

Throughout the experiment the RT litter had around 10% units higher moisture level than PH litter. By d 39, the moisture content of the RT litter was (48%) significantly higher (P = 0.05) than PH litter (37%). The N contents of RT litter were higher (P < 0.05) than those of PH on d 28, 35, and 39, being 8.1, 7.8, and 7% and 3.4, 3.6, and 3%, respectively. It was concluded that RT could be successfully used as an alternative litter material for broilers.

A higher N content in RT-based spent broiler litter would make it be a better organic fertilizer and ruminant feed compared with PH-based litter.

May 2007